About us

  • SAN FRANCISCO has always been a city of shifting identities, shifting landscapes, shifting land. This restless landscape erupts ever so often in seismic upheaval, shedding bridges and buildings and remaking the geographical map. the psycho-geography of the land and its populace is no less precarious.

    San Francisco is as legendary for its tectonic cultural shifts as it is for its earthquakes, every decade or so becoming an epicenter for a new utopian vision: the anarchists at the turn of the century, the beats in postwar North Beach, bebop in the Fillmore, Haight Ashbury in the 70s and most recently the neo-gold rush of the dot.com economy.

    An infection of idealism moving from neighborhood to neighborhood. Each cultural eruption reinforces the idea of San Francisco as an instant city.

    Within the pages of Instant City, we hope to capture much of the frenetic energy in fiction, non-fiction, and art. In doing so, we hope to create a subjective, ever-changing map of the city; chronicling the known and the unknown San Francisco. We welcome any contribution to this ongoing project, and all feed back is appreciated.

  • Instant Crime by Sonny Smith, SF Literary Examiner
    Instant City is a literary mag in love with San Francisco and it’s Issue #5 is about crime… Literary Magazines (and chapbooks) get the short end of the stick from mainstream consumers, but if they only understood that every writer that was ever worth a damn was glad and thankful to be in one, two, thirty, three hundred before getting published in the big leagues. And we all know the best work comes before the fame, before the success, before Personville becomes Poisonville…

    San Francisco Bay Guardian

    Buy Local (Book Reviews) by Charlie Jane Anders

    Instant City 5 (102 pages, $8 paper) straddles the privy–coffee table divide pretty handily, thanks to its gorgeous cover and interior art and some razor-sharp short fiction and essays. The literary journal’s focus is San Francisco, and the latest installment takes crime as its theme. So Stephen Elliott muses (in a fetish club) on the burglars he knew as a kid, and Sona Avakian explores how a husband’s illicit cigarette can turn into an affair with a snake woman. Morbid Curiosity czar Loren Rhoads leads readers on a tour of San Francisco crime scenes, and Richard J. Martin teaches the Fisherman’s Wharf hustle…

    San Francisco Chronicle‘AN ISSUE OF GRIT’ Instant City: A last-resort call turns a whim into a magazine full of San Franciscan vignettes by Reyhan Harmanci

    For Gravity Goldberg and Eric Zassenhaus, the inspiration to start Instant City, a literary magazine devoted to all things San Francisco, came after they both, separately, had come close to leaving town.

    San Francisco Bay GuardianLet a thousand magazines bloom: In diverse journals, a psychogeographic map of the city emerges by Jeremy Adam Smith

    Literary magazines: are you for or against them? I ask because there are those Harold Blooms – you know the type: hoar-browed, lofty, incontinent – who declare that desktop and Internet publishing has sired a grade school jamboree that’s drowned out the prospect of Great Literature.

    San Francisco Weekly Feeling City: New magazine’s urban fixation by Hiya Swanhuyser

    Psychogeography, the study of a physical setting’s effects on human behavior and mood, is a burning interest among the editors of up-and-coming magazine Instant City

  • SF Live’s NonProfit Focus, hosted by Carter Paige

    SF Live is a 3-hour block of live/call-in style programming on local cable television, brought to you by Access SF in San Francisco. This episode featured a nonprofit literary magazine Instant City…

  • Editor Gravity Goldberg received a Masters in English, concentration in Creative Writing at SFSU in 2007. She works as festival manager for Litquake. Her fiction is published in Watchword, Strange Tales, Transfer, and the SF Bay Guardian lit section. She’s also written for SFGate, Morbid Curiosity, Tempe Crime Wave, Panache, SFBG, and Stretcher. As an undergraduate, Gravity was fiction editor of Transfer. She has lived in San Francisco since 1993

    Mitche Manitou.

    Art Director Mitche Manitou is a freelance graphic designer and product-namer and artist. He received his BA in graphic design at the University of Florida. He has lived in San Francisco since 1990.

    Suzanne KleidSuzanne Kleid is a contributing editor to Instant City and to Other Magazine. She is the book reviewer for KQED.org, the online incarnation of San Francisco’s NPR affiliate. In 2004 she co-edited the anthology Created In Darkness By Troubled Americans: The Best of McSweeney’s Humor Category. She is a floor supervisor at City Lights Bookstore, and her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including The Believer, Pindeldyboz, and Watchword.

    Chris WilliamsChristopher Williams recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from San Francisco State with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in English Literature. He is working with Instant City to gain experience in the world of publishing and because, as a writer, he feels that Instant City is instrumental in adding a distinctly San Francisco flavor to this city’s writing community. He has also had his fiction appear in Transfer.


    Chanté Mouton Kinyon

    Chanté Mouton Kinyon is a masters student at the University of San Francisco. She currently works at Chronicle Books.


    Managing Editor Riki García Rebel received her MA in Spanish Literature and Linguistics from Cal State Long Beach. She has taught Spanish language and literature, as well as English as a Second Language at home and abroad. Currently she’s taking time off from teaching to raise her baby daughter and pursue an MFA in fiction at San Francisco State.

    Co-founder Eric Zassenhaus loves collecting interesting stories and prying out embarrassing anecdotes of the city. Once upon a time , he worked as the Web Coordinator for City Lights Books and Publishers and edited several independent magazines. Now he works in the news industry and tinkers with websites on the side. He has self-published many chapbooks, ‘zines, and magazines in the past many years; his work has appeared in print, online, and on air.
    Website by Jeannine M. E. Klein, Webs & Words.